Wireless technology developer Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is set to release fiscal third-quarter earnings after the bell Wednesday. We'll call ahead, though, and see what's expected in the results.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or waffle? Qualcomm has 24 analysts doing the buy-hold-sell thing. Of these, 21 rate shares a buy, and three say "hold." Qualcomm currently holds three-star stock status in the Motley Fool CAPS community, based on the views of 1,215 investors.
  • Revenue. The average analyst envisions 17% year-over-year sales growth, to $2.7 billion.
  • Earnings. The average non-GAAP profit estimate is pegged at $0.55 per share.

What management says:
Qualcomm apparently couldn't wait until earnings day to let the market know it was continuing its trend of performing beyond expectations. Last month, CEO Paul Jacobs noted that the firm is experiencing "greater than expected demand for our 1xEV-DO and HSPA chipsets as well as revenues from advanced 3G network upgrades." As such, revenue will come in at the high end of the previous target, and profits will rise, thanks to more high-margin devices being sold. Once again, thanks to the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) "iPhone effect," everyone wins.

What management does:
The sale of more premium products should help Qualcomm's margin picture, which has slackened a bit as Nokia (NYSE:NOK) continues to withhold royalty payments.

Margin %

12/06

3/07

6/07

9/07

12/07

3/08

Gross

70.5

70.5

70.3

69.8

69.5

68.8

Operating

33.9

33.5

32.6

32.6

33.1

32.4

Net

32.0

32.1

32.5

37.2

36.8

35.8

Data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
With core sales of chips and royalties still strong, Qualcomm is also expanding its newer, smaller efforts, in hopes that they will become big business in the future. The company's mobile banking subsidiary, Firethorn, struck a deal to launch mobile wallet services for Boeing's (NYSE:BA) credit union, BECU. Meanwhile, Qualcomm's mobile TV subsidiary is expanding coverage of ESPN and NBC sports on AT&T's (NYSE:T) Mobile TV service.

On the legal end, Qualcomm will soon square off in court against Nokia again, in hopes of resolving the royalty impasse. And Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) is still fighting hard to make import injunctions stick against the company. Qualcomm will spend hundreds of millions fighting various legal threats -- fortunately, it's a cash machine with ample funds still flowing in.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock learned long ago how to ping out SOS in Morse code, but promptly forgot. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Apple is also a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy is training for the Beijing Olympics.